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ecemoer 1997 










Mount Wachusett Community College 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

Federally funded with LSTA funds through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners 

Two Inches Short of Manhood 

For some the measure of manhood comes on the battlefield. For others, it may be the 
playing field, the weight room, or standing up to the schoolyard bully. And for some, it 
might come in the quiet observation of the health club locker room. For me that "golden 
moment" when my manliness was to be proven to the world was at the Topsfield 
fairgrounds. It was a chilly October evening and the air was filled with the unmistakable 
aroma of fried dough, cotton candy and nature 's beasts. No, I wasn 7 driving a team of 
muscle-bound Clydesdales in the horse pulls. No, I wasn 't the one who caught the 
greased pig, shaved a sheep in fifteen seconds, or worked the truck accessory booth. I 
was the guy who was trying to ring the bell at the top of that long vertical pole with a 
wooden mallet. You know, the one strong men walk up to and smash, sending a small 
metal shuttle up a towering shaft past all those flamboyant little titles that get more 
socially acceptable the closer they are to the bell. The bell that echoes over the 
fairground and everyone turns to see this man standing there with huge forearms and a 
strong back while saying and pointing, "There is a Real man! " Tonight was finally my 
time. The bell would toll for me! 1 paid my dollar and stepped up to the test. 

I stood there facing the giant challenge like a modern day Ulysses. That bell staring 
down at me like the singular eye of a Cyclops, looking down and laughing at my small 
frame and attempt. For a moment, as if I had eyes in the back of my head, I could see 
them, the gathering crowd. I could see my girlfriend there, too. I so very desperately 
wanted to win her a stuffed prize. Most of all I wanted them to see her with a Real man! 
I wanted to turn from ringing the bell and triumphantly extend my reward to her. She 
would hug or kiss me; her affection, my real reward. I grasped the hammer with both 
hands and jerked it from where it lay on the ground. Fooled by its looks, the hammer 
was very light, and I staggered back from using too much force to lift such a light object. 
Fear struck me as I thought, "This hammer doesn 7 have enough weight to it! " I then 
realized I was going to have to put all I had into this swing. I had wasted enough time... 
I swung the hammer back and brought it around in one beautiful, graceful, exquisite arc. 
The head of the hammer touched down squarely on the plate, in perfect position. The 
plate pivoted on its fulcrum and shot the shuttle upward toward its destination. 

Up past limp-wristed! 

Up past bedwetter! 

Up past nose picker! 

Up past momma's boy! 

Past dude! 

Past big guy! 

Stopping two inches short of the bell? 

Stopping two inches short of Real man\ 

Jim Tedesco 

Robot Mom 

Performing my mundane tasks efficiently, 

pursuing input of family needs. 

But sometimes I feel I've blown a fuse 

because I never get to rest. 

My emotions are held within, 

the forgotten human being inside 

the mechanical skeleton. 

Performing to commands like a mechanical 

puppet on strings, controlled by others 'fantasies, 

forgetting all my fantasies. 

No time to think, to eat or sleep 
because my programming is not complete. 

My programming is a characteristic of my mechanical construction. 

Experiencing occasional short circuits, in my excellent design. 

My energy is nil, I must continue on. 

Because I am a robot mom. 

Sandra Dejnak 

What is Death? 

Is it the cessation of life? 

Is it the passage into a "better world? " 

Or is it merely the loss of the conscious mind? 

A passage into the unconscious 

Into a simple state of nonexistence. 

The loss of sensation. 

The loss of perception. 

The darkest blindness. 

the most deafening silence. 

Nothing to smell 'cept the rot of your own body. 

Nothing to feel but the claustrophobia and the burrowing worm. 

The euphoria of not being able to be heard 

And the Utopia of not caring. 

A simple state of nonexistence. 

No more worries of disease 

no more worries of violence 

No more worries of age 

The simple art of unconsciousness. 

No need to eat 

No need for drink 

No need of family 

No need of Love 

A state of eternal sleep. 

The ending fate of every man. 

There are no exceptions 

Everyone must die 

Dreams of immortality are a fool 's device 

The skin goes blue and cold as ice 

The body, rigid, over which weeping mourners stand in black. 

The loss of a friend, father, brother, Lover. 

The loss of a sister, mother, and wife. 

No one is spared the fate of death. 

What is death? 


September' s Song 

Drip, drip, drip. .. the sound woke me this morning. 
It's raining, I thought. I opened my eyes and 
squinted as the sunlight struck my face. Very 
strange! The sky is shining blue between the 
slats, but the sound of rain persists . 

I rise and run to the window, pulling up the 
blind. The sun shimmers on the drops cascading 
down from the edge of the roof above. It glints on 
the wet tiles of the porch roof below the sill, 
and turns to iridescence the steam spiraling up 
from the frosty layer set down by the early 
morning air. 

September, a month of transition, is upon us. 
Each day starts in the chill of autumn, but later 
the glow of the sun warms the air to near summer 
temperatures . As the day progresses , we shed our 
layers of warmth like reptiles so that we may bask 
yet one more time in the glorious gift of the 
seasons. The tired, dusty leaves of the trees are 
slowly replaced by bright and cheerful reds and 
oranges, and golds. The vibrant summer flowers 
are gone, and in their place we see the subdued 
hues of mums and asters. The zucchini and tomatoes 
have given way to mounds of pumpkins and baskets 
of apples at the roadside vegetable stands. 

This, then, is the last hurrah of the year. 
Mother Nature's pulling out all the stops for that 
one final burst of blazing and melodious splendor. 
Soon will come the quiet sepia tones of deep 
autumn and then the black and white hush of 
winter . 

Jeanne Hue 


by Shawn P. Bernard 

So Jesus, 

Old blue-eyed Golgotha lamb, 

How bodes the wrought iron confines of heaven? 

Are you still barefoot and pregnant in the soul? 

I 've been doing time in the universal mind 
And see traces of you everywhere, 
You old tree of life virgin bastard... 

So Jesus 

Has the populace figured out that your eyes are not blue? 

Has the congregation stain glass saints yet given truth to your skin, 

Or given all of your lily-white reflection back to the earth 

You old Golgotha lamb! 

Have you died for nothing? 

Will our propagators never learn to sell your love as it is? 

Raw and unwaxed without the dyes of glamour 's appeal? 

Old Golgotha lamb! 

Do not kneel down before the big screen television of heaven! 

As we kneel down before the big screens of American Glamour. 

America is dying, 

And Golgotha stands in our living room... 


a spotless 


Oh Jesus! 

Golgotha high as hell! 

America is without vision! 

Golgotha high as hell! 

America is without a hero! 

Golgotha high as hell! 

America is without trial! 


Perfect Spotless Lamb! 

When will we see our idols unplugged from their electric God-walls? 


America is without vision 




Daddy 's Little Girl 

The grass grows green around the spot where your now unfamiliar 
body lies. I stare at the neatly engraved scriptures on the cold slate that 
stands before me. I wonder who worked so hard to make every line deep 
and beautifully carved. And I wonder if they know what kind of person you 
were. I 'm sure they didn 't know about your love, or your thirst for poison. 
About your talent for angry words and broken promises. How do you 
explain the colorful blossoms around your grave, when dead roots and 
rotten flowers were all my child eyes had ever seen? 

He's here. Watching me. Rubbing the dust away from my dry eyes. 
And he wants to speak. Throw his fists up in the air and scream, "I'm 
sorry, God forgive me, I 'm so sorry! " To clench his jaw tight as tears rush 
from his eyes, wishing he could of turned back. 

But God was watching as he laid passed out on my lap, his blood 
tainted with what his body yearned for day and night. And then, there were 
no more excuses, no more promises, no more I 'm sorrys. 

So now, all that is left to do is spy upon me. Listen to me at night when 
I thank God he took you out of my life. All that is left to do is roam this 
place full of faceless names, and wonder— who 's taking care of daddy 's 
little girl now? 

Jennifer s hat tuck 


heavy-laden with 


Sends past fears spiral ing 

away from 

the great and often unachievable 

pillar of success. 

Salty beads of perspiration 

streak through the brow 

now knotted in concentration. 

Piercing eyes search intently for 

the pinnacle 

of this day 's journey, 

though never look back 


the path leads the challenger 

as it has done for 

the many that have come before. 


in perfect unison 

work toward a common goal. 

The final push 

an end to this day 's 

arduous adventure: 



walking through an empty abyss 

thinking of what happened to this, 

as I sat and listened to the words 

my heart broke into pieces, 

onto the floor with a single crash 

there are no words that can bring it back, 

so long ago it seemed, 

when we were one. 

Cora Cleveland 

Reality Bites 

As I lie in the lap of luxury 

Amused by my selfworthlessness 

I ponder the meaning of my existence 

I realize how futile life really is 

I wonder who would want my life 

A six digit income 

Three new cars 

Plush uptown apartment 

I wonder who would actually want to live this way 

Married, no kids: too busy with our careers... 

I startle back to reality as I hear the door open 

she enters and flips on the light 

The cockroaches scatter and hide from the blinding light 

The floor is dirt, the baby is screaming in the other room 

The apartment is small and by the track 

She is returning from her third job today 

She walked the mile home in the snow and cold 

She begins to whimper as she turns over her pay check 

No food this week, the baby eats first 

As I take her in my arms, to comfort and console, I realize... 

This is Reality. ..It Bites 


Reflections in a Mirror 

She wasn't the prettiest girl, but there was something about her that people noticed. 
Even though her hips were a little too big, and her breasts weren't very large, people 
talked about her. You see, her beauty went a lot farther than her slightly pouty lips and 
unusually large eyes. It was something about her that shined. A blinding light that 
seemed to penetrate into the darkest of souls. 

Men didn't flock around her when she entered a room. After she was therefor a while, 
her conversation and her awkward laugh would summon them to her side. It was as if 
she'd cast a spell upon them. Because after all, she wasn't perfect. And you would 
probably agree that she would never grace the cover of a magazine. 

You see, I saw her one day. She was sitting on the side of the road, rubbing her feet 
into the dirt, circling her fingers in the sand. She was brushing her hair away from her 
eyes. It wasn't long, flowing hair that blew in the wind. It was short and rustled; 
cropped to her head as though she cut it herself. 

As she looked up, our eyes met. I stared at her. Trying to convince myself that all 
they say about her is true. And she smiled. She smiled as though I knew. As though I 
understood something about her, that maybe everyone else didn't... 

Jennifer shattuck 


Now 's a time 

just as good as any to wander and 
No approach 
but a pen 
from group of three 
to black glass 'd freaks 
and the world spins 
in gossip and fear 

—I don 't belong here. 
And while I 'm at it, 
Where are the rest of my shadows? 
Could they be buried in mind? 
And the watchtower gleams in the distance 
come along... 
...this is what it means 
to love. 
Be me for a day; 

you '11 discover what 
it means to be free. 

Open up your 
mind and set it on fire. 
Lose yourself in the wind and 
see just how close 
the horizon is 

and it 'sjust mindgames after all... 
listen to everything, 

you '11 surprise yourself 
You 're beautiful after all... 

Jeff Landry 


Night takes me away 

As the pines whisper your name. 
Why am I still here? 

Jeff Landry 

Unspoken Incantation 

by candlelight, 

i am gentle hermit, 

rain patter on my shelter, 

mindful and selfless Zen, 

the sound o/Tao, 

the only word with no 

pure grammatical explanation, 
and raindrop chorus 
a meditation in itself, 
one raindrop in billions; 
the sound of one raindrop 

an incantation 

for those with ears. 

spirit reminder, 

gently wears the stone 

of my being 

and dissolves my learned ways 

back to the essence of being 


can you understand existence 
of pure nonexistence, 
infinite empty infinity, 
yet infinitely whole. 

and being, 

a lazy and rapid river. 

moving and being moved by 

the hand of our mother; 

sound of one hand 


Shawn R. Bernard 

My car and me. The road. Liberty. 

Leaving my hometown. Leaving comfort and support. To find solace. 

Inspiration awaits in the heartland of America, the canyon lands of the southwest, the 

mountains, the valleys, the plains. The city, the country, suburbia. Techno parks and 

amusement parks and city parks and playgrounds. Bars and restaurants, music halls and 

corners. And people. To meet people and live side by side. For inspiration. To advance 

my writing. To advance my life and change. The bayou, the prairies and swamps and 

cliffs and ridges and paths through the brush. To see where others have stepped and 


It excites, the mere possibility. Highways and roads, the tools. They are for rent; my own 

personal tool is a car. A Nipponese pile of rubble. No creature comforts. No money. A 

bum rolling across the country. Conversation in Lunenburg: "So, how 's school? Dorm 

life OK? " 

"Ya, I 'm having fun. It 's a lot like high school. How 's the Mount? " 

"Good. But my journey across the country was better. It improved my life. " 

Jack Kennedy 

Leave the masses 

Embrace the questions 

never asked of fallen gods 

Symbolic gestures 

forsaken lectures 

Apocalyptic fallout 

Drowning in a sea of tears 

of bodies laid in earthen dust 

upon the hollow cries 

of timber 

brought to shore 

upon the wind 

We lie at rest 

in ancient slumber 



leaves are falling 

give us that of which we ask 
listen to our calling 


I feel as though 

I am an aged woman 

hiding behind a face of youth 

A young girl 

flirting with a wisdom 

I will never understand 

Do you understand me? 

or do you question my stare? 

I am, after all, 

the girl with intensely blue eyes 

a woman 

Camouflaged beneath strands of woven cotton 

My mind blank, 

and shiny pink lips 

and void of 

There is a deceit behind those blues 

Nothing to share, 

Yet innocence closes over them 

or insight which I care. 

Can you see me? 

Because your words 

I close my eyes, 

are spoken to a place in me 

hands crossed upon my calm chest. 

I do not see 

I feel naked 


Worthy of sex 




The television 's light pierces, 


through my eyelids. 

But no love 

Why not love? 



Jennifer shattuck 

I roll to my right, 

and left. 

I hum a tune softly, 

tapping the beat with my right foot. 


My eyes open, 

and close countless. 


Dan Patton 


A tiny chill upon the breeze, 

a glimpse of scarlet in the wood 

The glittering mass of the milky way, 

All forewarn of autumn 's coming. 

The scent of wood smoke, 

Ribbons of fog in the morning sunlight, 

And the deepening shadows of early evening 

Give notice of summer 's demise. 

And as Mother Nature winds her way 

Toward her soft and billowing bed 

She sheds her raiment of red and gold, 

Leaving it scattered across the ground, 

And pulling her comforter of white up to her chin 

She settles to sleep. 

Jeanne Hue, 1997 

Ami wrong to hate you father? 
Hate you in life 
and love you in death 
Did you ever really exist? 
I cannot remember your face 
but I remember the pain in 
your red eyes 
is that wrong? 

I cannot remember your stare 
but I remember my agony, 
the wretched ache in my soul 
when weekends would come 

I dream of you father, 

in my sleep 

and your spirit is naked next to mine 

in an unfamiliar bed 

cover with deception 

sewn with your lies 

Fear washes over me 

A flood of confusion over the truth 

of our life together 

I hear the song you 'd wake me with 
but I cannot remember the words 
I envision your drunkenness 
passed out on the bathroom floor 
And still 1 cry 

Cry over a feeling inside me 
that I cannot identify 
Where does it come from? 
its point of origin unknown 

the salt in my mouth 

is the only concrete reminder 

of the suffering inside of me 

I am not good for anyone 
my mind 
my body 
my memories 
have all been used 

Jennifer shattuck 

4 Wu fa *A 



Editorial Staff: 

Allison Lahikainen 
Jeff Landry 
Jennifer Shattuck 
Jeanne Hue 

Advisor: Arthur Marley 

Those wishing to contribute to The Mole or to I Magazine may submit their 
writings to Mr. Marley in room 366.